Former Australia wicket-keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist backed Virat Kohli to have another commanding series Down Under when India square off against Australia in the four-match Test series.
Kohli is India's most successful batsman in Australia with five hundreds to his name including four in the last series, where he scored 694 runs in four matches at an average of 86.50.
The Indian captain again showed his class in the third and final T20I at Sydney, where he scored an unbeaten 61 to take India home and level the three-match series 1-1.
"Going ahead into the Test series, I expect Virat Kohli will have another imperious outing like he did in 2014 (694 runs in 4 Tests at average 86.50). I have spoken with him these last few days, seen his confidence, and seeing the way he batted in Sydney, I will be very surprised if he doesn't," NDTVSports quoted Gilchrist as saying.
However, he added that the other Indian batsmen need to rally around him as well and provide him support for India to succeed in Australia.
"The key for India winning this series though will be batsmen around him. Will they support him enough to allow India to get enough runs and give their good bowling attack enough opportunity to defend or even bowl Australia twice in a Test?" he added.
The 47-year-old also thinks that India are more of a settled side than Australia as the hosts have a few issues to address in their batting line-up.
"Maybe 1-2 spots will be up for grabs but otherwise their playing eleven is very much set. I think India have a stable Test team. Whereas if you look at Australia, I don't think their selectors are quite sure about the line-up or team balance. This is a new phase for Australian cricket."
"Having said that, I think either side can win the series. It won't take much for Australia to be confident in their own conditions and start dominating the series. We have seen this happen in the past as well," Gilchrist said.
Both India and Australia have had issues with their batting lately. While the Aussies have lost their man players in David Warner and Steve Smith due to the ball-tampering scandal, India have struggled to be consistent with their batting in the recent tours of South Africa and England.
And Gilchrist feels that whichever team bats well and can avoid collapses, can take the series.
"Both teams have top-drawer bowling attacks, so it will come down to which batting line-up can eliminate collapses. Kohli talked about India's tour of England and said that when they were poor, they were really poor, and hence lost. India have only batted reasonably well in patches in both South Africa and England. They are favourites, but they also have to be honest with themselves," Gilchrist said.
The three-time World Cup winner also mourned the absence of Smith and Warner and said that it is a huge loss for Australia as Smith is equivalent to Kohli for Australia while Warner has the ability to take the game away from the opposition quickly.
"Smith and Warner have scored a lion's share of Australia's runs over the last couple years or so, and this is a huge loss, no doubt. They are clearly going to miss them, especially Smith because he is in the same space as Kohli," Gilchrist said.
"He is the best batsman in the world across formats but until the ban Smith was right up there, particularly in Test cricket. Warner can be very damaging and this is a massive hole. Their absence makes it a more open series for India and all the more difficult for Australia," he said.